CV Writing Tips

You will find listed below our top 10 CV Writing tips. Before beginning you must start thinking of your CV as a personal advert. This document will be the first, and possibly the last impression an employer gets of you. Your New CV should effectively display the qualifications, experience, skills and qualities that will show you to be the best person for the job.

An effective CV should include a targeted Personal Profile / Objective, Education History, Key Skills, Professional Memberships, Relevant Experience and full details of your previous employment. It is best to try and write in a concise but descriptive style that is not just a series of bullet points.

When it comes to presentation you need to ensure the New CV looks professional but take care to ensure key information stands out. Don’t try anything too radical with the fonts or colours and ensure you get the CV proof read before sending.

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CV Writing Tips

CV Writing Tip 1 - Keep it short and concise

Before you start, choose the right structure for your CV. The most important information, such as your key skills and recent experience, needs to be near the top, where it can be seen straight away. Sections you need to include are Personal Profile, Achievements, Experience, Special Skills (languages / computers), Education, Training, and Interests. Your CV does not have to be two pages. There are exceptions depending on length of employment history, etc. But remember if you haven't caught the reader's interest by page two then they probably won't read any further pages anyway.

CV Writing Tip 2 - Presentation
Clear, attractive presentation is important if your CV is to stand out. Ensure that the CV is uncluttered with key points easy to spot. Use some bullet points and keep the sentences relatively short. Some 'white space' around the borders and between each section makes the information easier on the eye.

CV Writing Tip 3 - Employment History

Ensure your employment history is in date order putting the most recent first. If you've had time out for some reason, do mention this. Do not go into to much detail concerning positions you held over 10 years ago unless of course it's relevant to the job you're applying for.

CV Writing Tip 4 - Include many facts / examples

On your CV don’t forget to list your achievements, responsibilities and results. Talk about results, what difference did your presence make? For example "Boosted sales by 20% in first year", and always try to back it up with instances of how and when this was achieved.

CV Writing Tip 5 - Not just lists

Include specific skills, such as languages, administrative or computing skills, in a separate section in your CV. Then do not re-list them for every job you've used them in. This is particularly so for IT. Lists of tools and packages make dull reading.

CV Writing Tip 6 - Put yourself in to it

Remember the employer wants a sense of the kind of person you are, as well as your skills and experience. Are you punctual, conscientious, or motivated? Do you rise to a challenge? With each point on the CV you write, ask yourself "What does this say about me?"

CV Writing Tip 7 - Check before sending

Before sending your CV always check for errors. Run a spell and grammar check and ask someone else to proof read it for you. Any employer is not going to believe you're a good communicator if your CV is full of spelling and grammar mistakes.

CV Writing Tip 8 - Tailor your CV

You don't have to use the same CV every time. You should have two or three versions, each adapted for the type of job you are applying for. It isn't a case of one-size CV fits all, and each company will have their own criteria. Before applying review the selection criteria or job advert and then adapt your CV to highlight what is most relevant.

CV Writing Tip 9 - Introduction Letter

Always send a covering letter / email with your CV. This should highlight the two or three areas of experience from your CV that are most relevant to the advertised job and allow you to explain your reasons for applying. It does not need to be too lengthy but it allows you to once again have your application stand out.

CV Writing Tip 10 - Be Honest

Although you want to present yourself well, don't go too far embellishing the truth. No one likes a liar especially in the workplace, just remember to highlight anything, which is relevant to the job and let your CV do the rest.